Spine Conditions

Have you been told you have any of the following: a bulging or herniated disc, spinal stenosis, degenerative disc disease, arthritis in the spine, whiplash, military neck, a pinched nerve? When you see a medical provider about your pain you are given a lot of answers as to what you may have but not how to treat the pain that goes along with the condition.

How can physical therapy help?

Physical therapists are skilled at diagnosing different spinal conditions and setting up proper treatment plans to address your symptoms. An appropriate diagnosis is important as well as spending time really listening to your symptoms and functional limitations. We are the clinicians of choice for a non-invasive plan of care to treat pain associated with any of the above conditions.


Any change in the shape of the bones of the spine is a type of arthritis. Arthritis in the spine starts in our 20s and is actually normal. As we age, we have more arthritis in our spines as well as other joints in the body.

Bulging Disc

A normal and common condition for people who do not have any spine pain. Sometimes a bulging disc can cause pain when seated for periods of time as well as during changes in position, often relieved by standing and walking.

Herniated Disc / HNP

Herniated Disc / Herniated Nucleus Pulpolsus (HNP) is diagnosed by an MRI or other such image that can see soft tissue, these are generally seen in those who are NOT having any pain. Common complaints of pain can be similar to a bulging disc but there can also be pain down one or both legs.

Discogenic Pain

Pain that behaves as if there is a herniated or injured disc but an MRI does not show any disc injury. Common complaints of pain are similar to a herniated or bulging disc.


True sciatica is actually very rare. In some, the sciatic nerve, instead of travelling from the spine through the pelvis and behind the piriformis muscle, it dives through the piriformis muscle and can be impinged by that muscle when it gets tight. An MRI or ultrasound can diagnose this, but you can have this your entire life without it causing any pain.

Spinal Stenosis

This is the narrowing of the space that the spinal cord travels through in the center of the vertebral column and can be caused by a disc that is bulging or changes in the bone shape (arthritis). This can be temporary and doesn’t have to cause pain.


When you are involved in some type of trauma (the most common is a car accident) in which the head and neck travel forward and backward very quickly, many structures in and around the neck get irritated and injured. Depending on the severity of the accident, whiplash can be mild to severe.

Pinched Nerve

A nerve can be sensitive or irritated but does NOT need to be actively getting “pinched” or injured. In fact, if a nerve is sensitive it can react to changes in temperature, movement, stress or even immunity changes in your body. It doesn’t have to be warning you of anything that is actually damaging the nerve or the tissue surrounding it.